Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesdays with John

John stumbles forward through the restaurant. He is walking towards a stage upon which sits a small video screen, a microphone, and a large grey box with a keyboard and speaker in the front. He ascends the stage and opens a large blue binder. He flips rapidly through the songbook. He is barefoot and wearing a University of Alaska sweatshirt over what appears to be a youth karate uniform. His eyes are red and bleary -- he has not slept in two days, in preparation for what is to come.

His eyes finally light upon the page he is searching for, and John smiles a small smile. He punches into the keyboard three numerals, and the screen above it responds. Text appears over the background image of a small stream running through an autumnal forest: "486 - ARTIST: SHANIA TWAIN - SONG SELECTION: MAN! I FEEL LIKE A WOMAN!"

The machine begins to produce synthesized, beeping sounds. John holds the microphone up to his mouth, lips parted slightly before he begins. His mouth is dry, but he knows he must only sing for a short while. Outside a dog howls, and a baby begins to cry.

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